TD Jakes - Impact
We have a tendency to grant more than we can maintain. Our eyes see more that we can get. We're always taking on more and more and more and more and more things 'cause we think more is better. We love more. Somebody shout, "More". So, we sign up for everything. We commit to everything. Somebody say, "More". We take more jobs. We take every opportunity, everything that's bidded on, everything that we go after. Somebody say, "More". But the most powerful people in the earth are people who have learned the ability to say no. All growth is not good growth. The fact that you have more doesn't mean that you're any better. Sometimes your eyes can take in more than you have the capacity to maintain.
And I want to give you this morning the Ministry of No. This is the Ministry of No. Look at some I say, "I have the Ministry of No". Yeah, I have the Ministry of No. That's a hard ministry to have. Especially I want to talk to all of you nice people, 'cause you nasty people already have this mastered. But I want to talk to you nice people who allow your congeniality to override your common sense and put you in a place where you are saying yes, yes, yes to everybody until you are totally exhausted, depleted, deteriorated, frustrated, at your wits' end, don't know what's wrong. You feel like everybody's pulling at you. Everybody's driving you. Everybody's calling you. Everybody's leaning on you. Everybody's depending on you. Nobody appreciates you.
I hate to tell you this. You did it to yourself. Because that culture that exists in your family, or in your company, or in your office, you helped to create it. You know why? When you took that job, we didn't know you. When you married that man, he didn't know you. When you had those children, they didn't know you. Everything we ever learned about you, you taught us. Wow, I want that to soak way down deep. Everything we ever learned about you, you taught us. So, you can't get to be the victim and say, "I don't understand why this car is going so fast," when you got your foot on the accelerator. "I don't understand why people keep using me". 'Cause you keep saying yes. I asked you, "Would you"? You said yes. I asked you, "Do you want"? You said yes. I said I need something. You said yes. You said yes.
You have your foot on the accelerator, and all of a sudden you know everything about how much you spent. You're looking at the dials on the car. You know how much gas you spent. You know how much oil you spent. You know how many RPMs you're running at. You know everything about what it costs you, but you cannot measure impact. If you don't learn to measure impact, it's going to affect how you do everything. If you don't learn to think differently about the choices you make in your life and the things that remain, 'cause we're gonna do some trimming today. We're gonna do some trimming based on a methodology that you may not have thought of before. We're gonna trim some things where we are expending energy into areas where we are not impactful, where we in fact are not maybe gifted in that area. Everything that you enjoy doesn't mean it's a thing you ought to do. There are some things that it's okay to be a spectator. You can't allow my giftedness in an area to seduce you into functioning in a role that you're not equipped for.
I swear, when those girls were singing, "Is My Living in Vain," I thought I could hit that note. I thought it. I felt it. Ooooooohh. I felt it. I felt it, but in reality it's probably better for me to enjoy them than to join them because I am not equipped. See, and some people's ego will not allow them to say what they are not good at. And until you can verbalize what you are not good at, you cannot focus on what you are good at. And you're not seeing the impact that you need to be because, quite frankly, you don't need to be in the choir. I know you love music and you got everybody's album, but I hate to be the one to tell you this, you can't sing. The more energy I put into an area where I'm having no impact, the more I'm starving another area where I am needed, and where I'm effective, and where I'm equipped, and where I can do amazing things. If you don't know the metrics whereby you are being measured, how can you feel successful? So, a lot of us never feel successful, we're just there. We're there.
I should've preached this before you came back. My wife and I, when we first got married... If we come in the house and the house is cold, she turns the thermostat all the way up to the other end. Because her thought is if you turn it up high enough, it's gonna heat faster. I said, "Baby, that's not how it works". Turning it up higher just determines how long it's gonna work to get to that number, but it's not going to make the house heat any faster. The thermostat is designed to determine the rate of impact. It does not tell me kilowatts. It doesn't tell me how many kilowatts it took. There's nothing on the thermostat to tell me how many kilowatts. If I go outside and read the meter, it will tell me how much energy I'm expending, but the thermostat will tell me how much impact it has.
It is possible for you to spend more kilowatts than you have heat on the thermostat. Come on, talk to me, somebody. We have in our lives a meter that lets us know how many kilowatts called tiredness, depletion, exhaustion, fatigue. All of that tells me how much energy I'm expending, how much effort I'm expending. But if I measure the kilowatts and I don't have a thermostat to measure the impact, I will get a false reading as to whether I'm effective or not. It could be possible that the energy is going somewhere else and never being targeted at the goal. The reason the thermostat is important is because the thermostat controls when to tell the kilowatts, "That's enough, we're there". If I have the thermostat turned all the way up and the kilowatts are just burning, burning, burning, that means the motor never shuts down because it never feels like it's there yet. And I am thinking today that a lot of you are just burning up your motor because you never measure the metrics of impact to know that you're there yet. So you keep pumping and pumping and pumping and pumping and pumping and pumping and pumping. And you never get the feeling of satiety of accomplishment because you have never had a thermostat to say you were there.
Look at God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void. Darkness covered the face of the deep. The Spirit of the Lord moved to cover the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light, and it was good. And the evening and the morning was the first day. And God said it was good. Wait a minute, Lord. You have no trees yet. You have no cows yet. You have no stars yet. You haven't even created a sun yet. And why are you saying it's good? It was good for that day. Shut your engines off. Cool your jets down. Go to bed, relax. Tomorrow, gonna hit it again.
If the thermostat is broke, it will burn up the motor because it'll just keep spinning and spinning and spinning and expending kilowatts because there's nothing in your life to say you're having impact. Imagine that scenario placed on your marriage. So, you keep giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving, but you married somebody who doesn't communicate, so you don't have a thermostat to feel like you have accomplished anything. And eventually, your motor burns out because you can measure what you're spending, but you can't measure your impact. The reason you might be so miserable today, the reason you might be so depressed or discouraged today, it may be because you do not have quantifiable measurements of impact. Do I matter? Do I make a difference in your life?
I love this. This is what Paul said, "Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law". Okay, "To them that are without law, as without law". You know so many people can't do that? They got one gear. Then they're talking to the man at the bank, "Glory to God, hallelujah, I came in here because I'm believing God for this house, and the Lord told me the house was mine, and I marched around the house". That's the wrong language. That's church language. If you're going to be successful, you have to be multilingual. You have to be able to speak in more than one language to get what you want. And you're not having impact because, Paul says, "When I get with the Jews, I became a Jew. When I got to those that had no law, I spoke as those who had no law. When I got amongst the Gentiles, I spoke like a Gentile".
The more versatile you are in your language, the more impact you have in your life. Some people only speak one language. You're a mother. You talk mother. You're in the board room, talking to me like I'm your kids. Now I'm freaking out because you've got the wrong language for the opportunity you have been given. God can give you opportunities where you don't have the right language and you can't figure out why you're not having impact because the Lord told you it was yours. But you're not gonna get it 'cause you're speaking French and you're in Italy. Keep on going with this text. "To them that are without the laws, without the law, being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ, that I might gain," that I might have impact. I changed. They couldn't change, I changed. The Jew was gonna be the Jew. The lawless was gonna be lawless. Gentile was gonna be the Gentile. I couldn't spend my life waiting on them to change. I had to change so that I could gain impact. It is easier for you to change than to demand that the world change to fit what you want to be.
Somebody shout, "Impact". Give me the rest of that text. "To them that are without the law, as without the law". Yeah, that's right. "To the weak," look at that. "To the weak I became as weak". So, I didn't walk in with weak people and intimidate them, talking about, "How could you do that? That's nasty. That's terrible that you did that". I got down to the weak person and said, "I've made some mistakes too. I understand what it's like to be in that situation". "To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak," that I might have impact. "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some". I won't get 'em all, but I'm gonna get a whole lot of 'em just because I'm versatile enough to gauge myself for impact. Somebody shout, "Impact". If what you are doing isn't working, why do you keep doing it? No, I'm serious. I wanna ask you. You have been nagging him for 15 years. It's not working, baby. You have yelled at that child for ten years. It's not working. You have run that office into the ground with your attitude. It's not working. It's time to change. Thus sayeth the Lord to you, it's time to change.
Write this Scripture down, Acts 1:8. Acts 1:8 says, "You shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you". "You shall receive power," does not mean you shall receive impact. "You shall receive power" is not a thermostat phrase, it's a kilowatt phrase. It means you got enough power to affect the room, but if you don't release it, it's not gonna work. Come on, talk to me, somebody. Being anointed is not enough. Some of the most anointed people I've ever met in my life are in storefronts. Stuck up with hands full of people. Call down the power of God like something you've never seen, but can't figure out how to get out of the building. The fact that you have the power doesn't mean you have the impact.
Acts 1:8 said, "You shall receive power". You know why God gives you the Holy Ghost? To help you to be effective. The power comes to do something, not to sit. I'm just gonna hang out with you for the next 30 years so that you can have goose pimples when the pastor's preaching, and every night and day you can speak tongues, jump up and down, and shout, and I'm just gonna keep you company 'cause I know you lonely. No, God gives power to people who are planning on impact so that when you get in the thick of it you'll have enough power. Let me tell you, I got enough power right now. I will not run out of power. I will run out of Scriptures, I will run out of life, I will run out of breath before I run out of anointing. The Spirit of the Lord is down inside of me to give me the power I need to do everything I need to do. I don't care how young you are. I don't care how strong you are. You will never be able to outdo me because I'm fueled by the power of the Holy Ghost down inside of me. And everything I need, I got it. I'm not scared of nobody. I'm not afraid of nobody. I'm not intimidated by anybody. I'll hold my own with the best of them 'cause I have power. I got power.
When I came here I was 38 years old. My hair was jet black and I was half the size I am right now. Glory to God, now at 60, a lot of things have changed, but one thing remains the same. I got power. Somebody shout, "Power". God gave you the Holy Ghost so that you could have power, but you've gotta take what's in the kilowatts and get it on a thermostat so that you can regulate what you have been given before you burn up, before you burn out, before you get compassion fatigue. You know why people fall out of love? It's compassion fatigue. You got the thermostat turned up on high. My engines never get to cool off.
So, I was reading the Scripture. Put my Scripture. I'm gonna read this up. I'm gonna sit down. "And this I do," watch this, "for the gospel's sake, that I might be made a partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that ye which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that we may obtain". Keep going. "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainty, so fight I, not as one," that's what I want, "that beateth the air". Best cardio you ever saw in your life. If you do it and do it right, best cardio. Your heart racing like something you wouldn't believe. Only problem is ain't nobody there. They call it shadowboxing.
Some of you in this room are fighting things that aren't even there. You're still trying to prove something to your dead father, and he's gone and you're still swinging at something that ain't even there no more. What you ducking for? Shadowboxing old voices, old ghosts, insecurities that are affecting your decisions. You're shadowboxing. You can't begin to measure impact until you start at least sparring with someone. Now you got a partner, they got two mitts up, and now we can see how much impact. And then you go from a sparring partner to where he puts some boxing gloves on and he hits you back. David did not pick up a rag and a rock and go kill a lion. You have to take the rag and the rock and you start throwing it in the air, and slinging it at nothing, and trying to knock over a can, and you have to shadowbox. And then when he got to the lion and the bear, he's now sparring.
When the boxer starts to sparring, he's getting ready to go in the ring. Now he has gone from energy, shadowboxing, to impact because now he is sparring. And the next thing is he's going to get in the ring where the blows are coming both ways. Okay, may I suggest to you that the last fights you fought were not the fight, they were the prep for the fight. You follow me? Every day, every day I breathe, I thank God for all the fights I fought in West Virginia that got me ready for the fights in Dallas. By the time I got in the ring in Dallas, I thought, "Oh yeah, baby. You not fighting no... what? You want some"?
Yeah, experience matters. Stop crying over your experience. Experience gets you ready to be victorious. Experience makes a difference in your life. Come on, talk to me, somebody. This is not the year for you to beat the air. This is not the year for you to shadowbox. This is your year to make contact. This is your year to have impact. I don't know who I'm preaching to. I don't know who I'm talking to. You have spent enough time fighting ghosts and fighting shadows and fighting rumors and fighting how people looked at you in a restaurant. It's time for you to get in the ring and make this a year of impact. Slap your neighbor and say, IMPACT!